$5000 fine for 275 paua
28 April 2009
A Porirua man was convicted and fined $5000 for possessing 275 paua, after pleading guilty at the Porirua District Court today.
The court heard that Joseph Thomas Tobin had the paua packed in four separate bags stored in two freezers at his home. Fishery officers located the paua after executing an Authority to Enter (a Fisheries Act search warrant) at Tobin’s address.
Mr Tobin claimed the paua had been dived for by several friends and family over a weekend but he refused to name them or provide details.
A person cannot take paua on behalf of others. There is also a recreational limit of 10 paua per person. If more than 10 paua are stored in a freezer, the onus is on the fisher to prove these were taken legally (including no more than 10 per person per day).
Judge Kelly also imposed $130.00 Court costs.
MFish District Compliance Manager Ross Thurston said it is always disappointing to find large quantities of fish that has been taken in breach of amateur fishing regulations. He hoped the sentence will be a lesson to greedy amateurs that the full force of the fisheries law will be used for people who breach fisheries rules.
“There is a limit of 10 paua per gatherer per day that can be taken so that there is enough paua for everyone to catch a decent feed today, tomorrow and in the future,” Mr Thurston said.
“If people have information or suspect illegal fishing they should ring the MFish poacher hot line - 0800 4POACHER.”